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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Holding onto the Shield of Faith

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In Ephesians 6 God tells us to put on the Full Armor of God. He has given us the tools to fight the enemy of God.  One of those tools is the Shield of Faith.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Eph. 6:16

The Lord, through His prophets, have been warning us that we are facing terrible times ahead. We shake our head in wonder now at the things that are taking place in our society and the world and wonder what is going to happen. Do we focus on the senseless slaughtering from ISIS, the attempt to destroy the sanctity of marriage through the homosexual agenda, the slaughtering of millions of unborn children, attacks against Israel, or Ebola? Although these are important do they strike a note of fear in us? Do they consume our thoughts?

Our focus is to be on God! He is calling us to repentance. He is wanting to hear our heartfelt prayers and our praise and worship. We are not to focus on the world or the events that are happening in the world. We are to look beyond and above the world to eternity. Our eyes are to be on Him not the events of the world that can leave us shaking in fear.

We are to cling to God through His Son Jesus Christ through our faith in Him. We pray without ceasing and in addition to the other pieces of armor we take hold of that piece, the shield of faith, and hold fast!

Gary D. Kinnaman, in his book, “Winning your Spiritual Battles” discusses the various pieces of God’s full armor and gives an account of what each Biblically means and how we can be protected. Mr. Kinnaman states that in the New Testament there are four different shades of meaning of faith.

1. Saving Faith – We trust that Christ saves us from sin and the consequences thereof. Ro. 10:9, Ro. 4:3

2. Faith to Receive – Faith in our daily trust in God for His provision and help.Heb. 11:6

3. Power faith, gift faith, miracle working faith. – Faith in a general sense – faith to be saved and faith to walk with God. 1Cor.12:9, Gal. 5:22-23, 1Cor. 12:7-11,  1Cor.12-14, Heb. 11:6

4. Enduring faith – Faith that does not quit. It is the persistent, resilient belief that God’s Word is true, over and against every problem, wrong thought, or demon. Endurance is active faith, deflecting persistently the fiery attacks of Satan.

So how do we endure? One day at a time! In 1Peter 1:3-9, “Through faith {you} are shielded by God’s power.” (verse 5) “The shield of faith is God’s power and presence protecting and energizing us in spiritual warfare.”

“Faith in the sense of perseverance shields all the other armor. Truth must persevere to prevail. Righteousness must persevere to prevail. We must persevere in peace-making in order to prevail.”

In these troubling times God is calling us to persevere. We must have enduring faith if we are going to “run the race” and receive the prize. Grab your shield of faith and hang on tight, it’s only going to get worse.

“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev. 2:10

A prayer for Holding up the Shield of Faith:

“Heavenly Father and mighty God, shield me with Your power as I trust in You. The flaming arrows of the enemy have burned my soul. Heal the pain inside, and give me the strength to resist.

I am committed to enduring to the end of this trial, regardless of how long it lasts. I am not a victim. I am a victor, more than a conqueror through Christ.

My faith, Lord, is in You. I renounce my own abilities, and I confess that unless Jesus builds up my life, everything I do is in vain. Only when I trust You completely am I completely protected from the fiery darts of the wicked one. I hide myself in the fire of Your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

41K3383MY0L._AA160_[1]Winning Your Spiritual Battles – How to put on the full armor of God. Gary D. Kinnaman

Available at http://www.amazon.com

http://www.elahministries.comhttp://www.cybersupportgroup.org

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries.comelah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Are your hands full?

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“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

One of the first articles I wrote for the new Cyber Support Group blog (Rocks in my Garden) was with an assignment of placing rocks in a basket as each issue was healed. Survivors carry much guilt, shame, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, anger, etc. The healing of these many issues takes time and much work. They did not happen over night and will not be healed over night. As each issue is looked at we go through the pain of having to relive some of the events of the past but as we do so the Lord is with us and helping us to delve into the deep dark secrets and the effects it has in our present life.

Shame is something that is placed on us through acts that defy what we are created to be. God did not create us to walk with shame or guilt or rage because of what was done to us. He wishes each of us to be free to laugh, love, and rejoice in Him with the freedom much like a child happily playing.

If we have these issues bearing down on us we cannot be free to be as He created us to be. We must take each issue and deal with it. We cannot do it alone! We need Christ’s wisdom, guidance, and insight. We need the support of others and possibly a good counselor that is willing to walk with us through the pain.

Anger is a volatile emotion that can debilitate us and affects every relationship we have. It’s as though we have a volcano deep inside just waiting to erupt. Healing the issues we have to deal with helps in easing the effects of the volcano. It brings about forgiveness and as forgiveness is granted, for us and our abuser/s, we are set free from the devastating effects. I have seen survivors who felt as though a million pounds had been lifted from their shoulders by the act of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is difficult when we have been so violated by another human being that we trusted. Betrayal of the deepest level is difficult to forgive but it is absolutely necessary for us to be able to move forward and become free. It is the most important step in gaining freedom. It is the goal that we can set before us – to be able to forgive the one/ones that so harmed us. I’m not talking about lip service forgiveness but the kind of forgiveness that truly comes from the heart. We can start by telling the Lord that because He forgives us we choose to forgive (abuser name) and eventually we will be able to forgive from the heart.

Forgiveness is a choice! It does not mean what was done was right. It does not mean you have to have a relationship, or even contact, with this person. It does not mean that you will forget what was done. It means you release the consequences and judgment to God. Unforgiveness is wanting revenge. Forgiveness means that you have broken the ties that your abuser has you bound up with. It means you have taken a most important step in being able to move forward and live the life that God wants you to have. It means freedom.

Here are some scriptures to help you with various issues you may be facing:

Eph. 4:20

Eph. 4:31, 32

Phil. 4:6,

Gen 28:15

Mark 11:25

Is. 26:37

Ps. 91:4-7

 If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com  

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries  

 Elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Help from within

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I cannot say we ever met

My other self and me

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But when I can no longer cope

My Other can

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And we grope our way together

Alternately

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Though this life we did not choose

But now choose not to lose.

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She will stay I know

Until such time as I can handle

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All of me

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Then I will set her free.

Karen M. – Elah Publication – Aug. 2003

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries   elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

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Every person has things that they will tolerate and those things that they will not tolerate. From ourselves and others. It’s called setting boundaries. But are the boundaries we set healthy boundaries?

Children that grow up in dysfunctional families are not given a choice, or not taught what healthy boundaries are. There are not usually boundaries set in dysfunctional homes. Sexual abuse is tolerated or hidden, beating Mom when the dinner isn’t ready on time, cussing and screaming, slapping, verbal attacks, degradation. There are all forms of abuse being tolerated. If there are any boundaries at all they are usually unhealthy.

What is a boundary? According to Webster’s dictionary it is “A limit. Anything marking a limit.” It’s as though we draw a line in the sand and say, “Don’t cross this line!” As Christians we can set healthy boundaries by refusing to listen to dirty jokes and  gossip for example.  Those are healthy boundaries. Once we have let others know that we will not tolerate filthy language, gossip, dirty jokes or whatever it is that offends us we must stick to those boundaries.

What are unhealthy boundaries? Allowing someone to verbally abuse us is one example of an unhealthy boundary. For example, I tell my husband that he can cuss all he wants but I just won’t tolerate the “F” word. Is that really a healthy boundary? No! Or for example, “Just don’t hit me in the face.”

There are many many examples of healthy and unhealthy boundaries but what it boils down to is what and how much I will tolerate, not just from others but from myself. Will I allow someone barging into the bathroom while I soak in the tub? Will I allow someone to continually verbally abuse me and say nothing? Will I continue to be degraded in front of my co-workers? Boundaries are set so that we may be treated with dignity and respect. If I allow others to belittle me or in some way show less than the respect that I deserve then I have not set boundaries. I am accepting that I am “less than.”

Children that have been abused have not been taught boundaries. As adults we tend to allow others to abuse us verbally, emotionally, or physically because we have not been taught that we are loved and respected as another human being. We expect less of people and of ourselves because that’s what our life experiences taught us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In Gen. 1:28 God told Adam and Eve about ownership. We are not to only take control of the things of the earth but that we are to take control and responsibility for our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. “We are made in the image of God, we were created to take responsibility for certain tasks. Taking responsibility, or ownership, is knowing what is our job, and what isn’t.”* In other words, are we going to allow certain unhealthy things to control us?  “It takes wisdom to know what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t.” *

In  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend book, “Boundaries” he states, “Any confusion of responsibility and ownership in our lives is a problem of boundaries. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we need to set physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us distinguish what is our responsibility and what isn’t.” *

They go on to discuss attitudes, feelings, behaviors, choices, values, limits, talents, thoughts, desires, and love. All have boundaries. “Boundaries are built and you can’t develop or set boundaries apart from supportive relationships with God and others.”

Many people feel they are being disobedient, will hurt others feelings, people may think I’m controlling, or angry if I set boundaries. But setting healthy boundaries are none of these. All children need healthy boundaries set in place not only for their safety but for learning they are loved and respected and we as adults also need to put in place healthy boundaries.

As a survivor of childhood physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse I had to learn to create  healthy boundaries in order to live an emotionally healthy life. All of our relationships are affected by the boundaries we set or the lack of boundaries. What we tolerate is what will continue!

One of books that was of great help in my understanding and learning how to put in place healthy boundaries is:

*51AFJW77T0L._AA160_[1]Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

I highly recommend it and the workbook. (available at http://www.amazon.com)

If you have confidential comments or questions feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministries.com  www.suespen2paper.com  www.facebook.com/elahministries

Blessings to you.

Throw away that script!!

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All his life he was abused. His dad was a drunk and his mom was having an affair, an affair that led to divorce! His school life suffered greatly! Who cared about science or geography when life was falling apart! His world as he knew it had been destroyed and was still a living nightmare and yet he was still required to engage at school!!! His teachers called him stupid, his seniors ridiculed him daily. He had no where to run but in himself but even that was hopeless because the person inside would tear him to bits, the person in him would tell him how pathetic he was……no one understood him not even his family….
His script.
I am a nobody and no one loves me! I am better off dead…..I am of no use on this earth! If there is a God, He really really hates me!!!…

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I will lift you up within My hands

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I used to feel like no one cared

or even had a kind word to share.

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I couldn’t understand why I was here

Is it to be used by others who have no tears?

 

All the while floating numbly in this land

Wanting to feel like others, if only I can.

 

And then one day I prayed to God,

He’ll never answer or so I thought.

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What is my purpose? The plan for me?

Or is this the way it will always be!

 

And as I stood on my porch one day

I closed my eyes and gently heard Him say,

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“My child, My precious child, I am here

I have always been so very near.

 

I was waiting for you to call to Me

And ask Me what you are needing to see.

 

Yes, I was there so long ago

And I will be here, I’ll never go.

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It will be different, be patient and see

You’ll start to live and sow My seeds.

 

So reach out with all your heart

That’s always a great place to start.

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I will lift you up within My hands

And guide you through this painful land.”

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By only asking in my simple prayer

He has taught me how to care.

 

He’s shown me love, a true Father’s love

And given me flight on the wings of doves.

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And so in closing I just want you to know

I can feel His healing oil flowing

in my heart and soul.

By Robin – Angels by Grace March 1997

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http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Circle of One

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I’m living in the shadow of yesterday

With dreams I had for tomorrow

But the plans are shattered more each day

As I try to hide the sorrow.

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When life is so out of focus

And my feelings have all grown numb

I think there must be more to life than this…

I’ve become a circle of one.

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Decisions are hard to come by

There’s no trust even in myself.

Yet there’s a will to survive inside us all –

That may be all of “me” that’s left.

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But whatever there is within me

I must turn it into something more.

I can’t live my life for others now

And they can’t see the world from my shore.

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We all have our own life’s story to tell

And not one is worse than the other.

But there must be common ground somewhere

And a balm to ease the struggle.

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Take the good you see in me

And learn from it if you will.

But when you observe the wrong I do

I hope you can accept me still.

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I don’t anchor my soul on anyone else

I want no one’s weight on me.

So I leave my burdens at the foot of the Cross

And Jesus sets me free.

Written by Karen Austin – Elah Publication – June 2003

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http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries   elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.